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052-192-1242 (SL1) - Locate Mine and Booby Trap Indicators by Visual Means

Standards: Visually locate all mine/booby trap indicators, and improvised markings in the prescribed area without causing injury to personnel and damage to equipment. Report indicators to immediate supervisor.

Given an urban/rural area, (containing mine
and booby trap indicators) to maneuver in,
around or through in support of missions and


Visually locate all mine/booby trap
indicators, and improvised markings in the
prescribed area without causing injury to
personnel and damage to equipment. 
Report indicators to immediate


Gather information pertaining
to mines and booby traps associated
with the area of operations through-

Leader disseminated

References (graphic training
aids, land mine handbooks, and
special publications).

Mine boards.


Intelligence briefs.

Operation orders.

Recognize mine and booby
trap indicators during movement.

The only true indicators that there
are mines or booby traps present are
if someone spots a mine or booby trap
or if a person or vehicle detonates a
mine or booby trap. Spotting mines or
booby traps as an initial indicator is
extremely rare and should not be the
primary focus of checking for mines or
booby traps

You must be alert for signs of
anything out of place or unnatural as
you maneuver through an area. If you
see something that is a possible
indicator, the element must stop,
assess the indicator, and look for
other indicators to confirm or deny
the suspicious area before continuing
or taking further action

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) is a hazard
on the battlefield. UXO includes
ordnance items that have been fired,
projected, dropped, or placed in such
a way that they could become armed and
go off. Whether in an area by design
or accident, these items have not yet
functioned. Whatever the reason, UXO
poses the risk of injury or death to
all personnel in its immediate
vicinity. Once recognized, never
approach any closer to a UXO.

Refer to the task number 093-401-5040
(React to Unexploded Ordnance Hazards)
for information on identifying and
taking immediate actions when dealing
with a UXO.

Mine and booby trap

With the exception of stake mines and
the majority of directional
fragmentation mines, most hand or
mechanically laid mines are buried.
Once burying a mine has disturbed the
natural surface of the ground, nature
usually has a way of showing where
this event took place. Unusual
erosion, plant growth, or animal
casualties may be vital clues to alert
you that there might be mines, booby
traps, improvised explosive devices (IEDs),
or UXOs present

Dead animals with missing
or damaged limbs.

The animal may have walked several
miles before dying.

Human remains.

Overgrown, unattended
fields and pastures next to
cultivated used areas.

Trees and bushes not
collected for firewood.

Damaged vehicles left on or
off the road.

Wilted or dead patches of

Circles of lush grass
among thin grass.

Odd features in the
ground or patterns that are not
normally present in nature.

Unattended vehicles,
trailers, or boxes and abandoned
military equipment such as
weapons, ammunition, uniforms, or

These indicators may represent an ied
or booby trap. Be alert for wires,
detonating cord, or a shock tube
running from these devices to the
roadside. Cables or wires used in
command detonated devices are
sometimes buried, so look for
disturbed soil in lines running up to
the road and away from the suspected

Disturbed ground.

Depressions in the
ground (regular or odd spacing).

Raised patches of
earth (regular or odd spacing).

Unused paths, routes,
or trails.

Debris on or along a route.

Signs of road repair (such
as new fill, pavement, patches,
ditches, or culverts).

There may be signs of single holes or
several holes, possibly in some form
of a pattern at tactical or key

Potholes in tracks.

Disturbances in
previous tire tracks or tracks
that stop unexplainably.


Areas avoided by local

Patterns of objects that
could be used as a sighting line.

Mine or explosive

Patches of new brick work,
plaster, or mud on walls

Abandoned defensive
positions, trenches, and destroyed

Abandoned buildings,
piles of wood, or materials not
claimed by the locals.

Buildings are excellent sites for
booby traps. Assume that all unsecured
buildings are booby-trapped

Trip wires, strings, or

Evidence of electrical
wires, batteries, mouse traps,
clothes pins, steel tubes, or

Small shiny metal plates,
split lightweight bomb casings,
empty cluster bomb canisters, and
small parachutes or drogues
(funnel shaped drag chute) from
submunitions (all indicators of
cluster bomb strikes or
scatterable-mine attacks).

Improvised markings of mines,
booby traps, and UXOs (Figure



Figure 052-192-1242-1. Samples of
Mine Markings



Not all armies and fighting
organizations mark their minefields to
the same standards as required by the
United States (US) Army. Many local
factions, militia, or units will lay
mines and mark them in their own way
with readily available materials
rather than formal markings. These
markings are generally used to warn
their own troops and local civilians
of the presence of mines, booby traps,
IEDs, or UXOs. Friendly units
operating in these environments must
gain this local knowledge in order to
identify mine markers
hazardous areas.


Rock piles or
individual rocks painted red are
United Nations (UN), threat army,
or local-faction danger area


Used by the various fighting factions
and locals to mark the minefield


Different color tapes
attached to a stick, tree limb,
picket, pole, or wall.


Crossed bones, sticks,
or twigs.


Rows of light colored
or painted white stones.


Used by the UN to mark safe lanes and
cleared areas. Stones are usually in
regular patterns and close together


Circle of stones
surrounding objects.


Signs used by locals to mark
individual mines and UXOs. Where there
is one mine or explosive hazard, there
are usually more in the area


Pieces of both cloth and
metal material attached to poles,
sticks, or walls.


Burned fields normally
indicate UN mine clearance


Red lettering and marks
painted on rock faces or building
walls. For example, start point
(SP), indicating minefield start
point. UN demining reference
markers, such as reference point
(RP) and benchmark (BM).
Minefields will be close to these


markings of mines, booby traps, IEDs,
and UXOs (Figure 052-192-1242-2).


Figure 052-192-1242-2. Samples of
Mine Signs



Red rectangular or
triangular signs attached to wire,
stakes, posts, or pickets with a
written warning on one side.


Generally, if you can read the
writing, you are on the safe side


Triangular signs with a
picture of someone being blown up
by a mine.


Ongoing UN minefield
clearance operations are
delineated with wooden posts with
red and white tops.


Burned fields, indicating
UN mine clearance operations.

Report all suspected areas to
the immediate supervisor.


Provide an area which contains
suspected mine and booby trap indicators. 
Record and provide description of all
suspected mine, booby trap indicators and
locations on the evaluation sheet. 





Gathered information pertaining
to mines and booby traps associated
with the area of operations.

Recognized mine and booby trap
indicators during movement.

Reported all suspected areas to
the immediate supervisor.


Score the soldier GO if all
performance measures are passed (P). 
Score the soldier NO-GO if any
performance measure is failed.  If the soldier fails any performance measure, show him how to
do it correctly.
















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